Ian Williams loses three of his four matches at Monsoon Cup finale


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The Independent Online

A reverse in fortunes saw defending world match racing champion Ian Williams lose three of his four matches at the Monsoon Cup finale of the World Match Racing Championship in Malaysia.

His Team GAC Pindar had won five out of five on its opening day and is still in line for a quarter-final place, assuming that a delayed timetable does not force the organisers to go straight to the semi-finals.

But more damaging was Williams’ loss to his main rival, Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen, who has recovered from a shaky start to be back in contention. Williams is hoping to win a fourth world title.

In the Southern Ocean, François Gabard has retaken the lead in the Vendée Globe singlehanded non-stop round the world race, overtaking an Armel le Cléac’h coping with an area of lighter winds. The leading quartet, completed by Bernard Stamm and Jean-Pierre Dick, is still separated by less than 50 miles and Alex Thomson continues in fifth, 160 miles behind Gabart. Mike Golding in sixth is over 650 miles astern of Gabart.

In Southampton, magistrates imposed a fine of £9,000 on Marc Guillemot, who has already retired from the Vendée, for violating the traffic rules in the Straits of Dover when attempting to set a Round Britain record in June.